There's this crazy story that I've never spoken of on camera before. It happened during my Disney college program. You see, my sister sent me three journals before my internship started and I'll never forget what she told me: "Tom, you'll want to remember this year. Write down everything." I did just that. After a little deliberation, I decided to do just that. After eight months, I filled out my entire 100-page journal. I wrote about the parks, the parties, my best friends, my tough times, and the crazy days at work when we had to serve an unending line of guests. On my very last day at the airport, I filled in my final page. I was a drama queen.
I decided to save my last page for the airport. While writing, my paper became blurry. I wasn't sure what was happening. Then I saw a big gray circle appear on the paper beneath me. I realized then that I was crying. I was crying in front of everybody. No one was staring cause I had a hat on, but I was literally crying tears in front of a bunch of strangers. I didn't care. I kept writing.
I finished my journal entry and it remains to this day probably my best journal entry of all time. I think it's some of my best writing ever. I realized then that writing really means a lot to me. I realized how much writing meant to me, how much journaling meant to me, and self-reflection, how important it was. I became so much more self-aware from writing every single day. I knew why I was stressed. I knew why I was happy.
I knew why my roommate pissed me off because I replayed it in my journal and wrote about it and figured out, oh, I was mad because he's doing this, this, this, this. And that's why those are the major causes of stress in my life. And if I alleviate those problems, then I'll be less stressed. And it worked. It worked way more than I thought it would. And in a lot of ways, journaling is the reason I'm even speaking to you right now. When I journaled a couple of years ago, six years ago, whatever it was, I fell in love with writing. Everybody, there's one last key to figuring out your dream life that I have not talked about yet. And it's a big key. It's called journaling.
And it might just be the most important part of this entire course. Let me explain something to you really quick. The journey that you're about to go on isn't going to be easy. Did you know that yet? Shooting for the stars requires a lot of patience, self-care, toughness, grit, creativity, and gentleness. You need to be gentle with your own self.
The last thing that I want to leave you with regarding the six-month plan is that it needs to truly be a journal. It's not just a six-month plan. It's a place for you to unload your thoughts and feelings and get stuff off of your chest. It's way more important than you think it is. Until you start doing it over the course of weeks and months, then you'll start to really understand, "Wow, journaling is making my quality of life so much higher." I once wrote an article called "how to become ridiculously self-aware in 20 minutes." In that article, I list off four major benefits of journaling. One, you'll stop getting angry and upset. Two, you start understanding why certain strategies work and don't work. Three, you actually live in the moment more. And four, you become more self-aware.
I won't lie. My first month of journaling was basically me just screaming headfirst into a bundle of paper with my pen. I was furious at the world. I had a lot of stuff that I didn't deal with that was just lurking in my heart, that felt great to sort of talk about and address. Then after about a month, I started to notice something. I started to notice that I didn't get angry as much anymore. I stopped having big showdowns with my friends and family, and I started to be more gentle towards them. A few weeks later, I realized that journaling was really the reason for all of this. You know, it's quite stressful to live away from home, work all those hours every single day, live on basically nothing.
Disney paid us very little. But journaling was the thing that actually made me feel less stressed than I ever was. I urge you to journal for two major reasons. One, it's going to help you feel better on this journey. This journey will be hard. I've told you this before in the course already. I'm not going to lie. Some days, you're going to want to quit. Some days, you're going to feel like, I'm not making any progress." Getting these thoughts out on paper will allow them to get out of your mind. You won't fester on these thoughts.
You won't think about these thoughts and dwell on them for minutes, hours, days, weeks. You'll get them out and they'll be done. And two, the second reason you need to journal is that journaling will help you see what's working and what's not working. Journaling is like standing in the middle of a river with a sieve. You're catching things in the water that would normally just rush right past you. You may think journaling doesn't do much for you. In that case, you're wrong. But let me ask you this question.
When is the last time you remembered 100 percent of the thoughts that you had during the day? Never. What about 50 percent of the thoughts you had during the day? Never. What about ten? Nope. I can't even remember what I was thinking 30 seconds ago. This course is called "how to achieve your dream life in 12 months." I'm not gonna lie. That's a very short amount of time. A year is a drop in the bucket compared to how many years that we have in the average person's lifespan.
But the way that you can do what normally takes you 24 months in 18 months, or even what would normally take you 18 months to do in 12 months is to ruthlessly document everything, ruthless recording of information, ruthless attention to the details. People, this is why journaling is so important. To everybody watching this. I am horrible with details. I am a big-picture person.
I'm not good with details at all. Journaling helps me pay attention to details. Data points do not escape me anymore. Details do not escape me. If I notice even the smallest thing, I write about it, I record it so that I can remember it. Most people just live their life, they try to accomplish their dreams, and they don't pay attention to what's actually working and what's not working. This is the key, guys.
This is the key to how you can accomplish what would normally take you years to accomplish in one year. Attention to detail. Here's the journal entry from January 21, 2019. What am I talking about here? I'm looking at it right here. "I have to figure myself out. The main problem is I have an over-reliance on video to the point where if I don't have a viral video, I don't make money on Facebook." This is me just relenting and talking about, you know, my vlogging career. "If I moved forward with Facebook video and milked it for all it's worth, then I'd have more Instagram followers, Facebook likes, YouTube subscribers, etc." I'm trying to figure out which actions are giving me the most results.
For me, I'm thinking it's Facebook. "That makes it easier for me to get sponsored trips, speaking engagements, etc." This is what I want. "But do I really even want sponsored trips?" I asked myself. I'm asking myself, I'm talking to my being, my core being. Do I really want that? Do I really want to go on sponsored trips? Do I want speaking engagements? Like, do I even want that, really? "50 percent of my income the last four months has come from an online course. It makes sense to continue to put that into play somehow." So I'm talking about which actions are leading me to the most results. I'm talking about how I feel.
And I'm talking about whether what I want is actually what I want. This is exactly what you needed to do in your journal entries. You need to constantly reevaluate all of the things that you're doing and all the things that you want so that you can figure out, "Well, do I really want this, or what?" So that you can get a more accurate picture of you and where you're going. It's very important. When you journal, I want you to pay attention to this. Pay attention to what's making you emotional. Are you stressed? Are you angry?
Are you happy? Are you ecstatic? What are you? Most of the time, I journal when I'm stressed, when I'm anxious, when there's a problem that showed up in my life. And then I write about that problem and I talk about how it's affecting me right now and how it could affect me in the future. And guess what guys? Most of the time, when I look back on journal entries a week or two weeks later, the problem that I wrote about has already been solved. You need to talk about your emotion when you're journaling.
You need to get to that. When you start with your emotion in journaling, you're going to solve a lot of your own problems by yourself. Here's what I'll leave you with. Through journaling over the last, you know, six years, I know pretty much every desire that I've ever had. I know what I want. I know what I don't want. I know what I want right now. I'm pretty darn content with my life because of it. Journaling is a great thing to do regardless of whether you want to accomplish your goals in the next 12 months. It's just a good thing to do, period.
And the longer that you journal, the more this effect compounds. In the next lesson, before we start wrapping up the course, we're going to talk about failure. Journaling will certainly help you feel better about the failure that's coming. However, there's something else that we need to know about failure before we bid you farewell. I'll see you in the next lesson.